Aruba 8360 basic and VSX configuration (Part 1)

Hello there.

Today I want to go through the basic configuration of an Aruba 8360-32Y4C. Such a beautiful device. Look at it…

ArubaOS-CX 8360
ArubaOS-CX 8360
ArubaOS-CX 8360
ArubaOS-CX 8360
ArubaOS-CX 8360
ArubaOS-CX 8360

Aruba 8360-32Y4C. It has 32x 1GbE/10GbE/25GbE ports. 4 of those are with MACsec. On top of that, it comes with 4x 40GbE/100GbE ports. Up to 2,4TBit/s bidirectional switching and 1,145 Mpps for forwarding packages. Don’t know how true that is.

Where was I? Ah yes… Basic configuration.

I currently have 4 of those in the office. These are planned for a new location. A customer wants to use it as their new HQ basically. 2 of the switches will be used as a core and the other two as aggregation switches (which wasn’t my idea). The core switches will be connected to 2 Sophos XG 330 in an active / passive configuration.

We will use 2 of the 100GbE ports for the VSX Cluster and the other two for the interconnect between the core and aggregation switches.

For the interconnect and VSX we will use “Aruba 100G QSFP28 MPO SR4 MMF Transceiver (JL309A)”. Honestly, I do not have any experience with MPO connectors. So we will see how this goes.

Also, I do not know, why they didn’t just order DAC cables for the VSX. Would make the whole thing a bit simpler.

For the access switches, they went with Aruba 2930F which we will stack via VSF. Might do a guide on those as well. We will connect them with 2x 10GbE fiber links in a LAG/LACP to the aggregation switches.

Here is a simple topology.

I will do most of the configuration via the serial port. We could use the MGMT port at the front of the device. This port should grab an IP address via DHCP. But the device is right next to me so… why bother?

Might connect the MGMT port later to our network, when it comes to configuring the VSX. But I will leave this for part 2.

So. Let’s begin.

First steps

We will start with simply powering the switches up and connecting the serial cable. As a USB to Serial Adapter, I am using the “Digitus USB2.0 Serial Adapter“. If you are using Windows 10/11 you can connect via the application “Putty”.

Once you start the application you have the option for serial. Enter the COM, the baud rate (115200 for Aruba) and click on connect.

Since I am running Fedora Linux I am going to use “screen”. You can install it through the package manager of your distribution. All of the popular ones should offer it.

fedora-kde :: ~ » sudo dnf install screen

Once that’s done, enter the “dmesg” command with the following option. Connect the Adapter to your laptop and find out which tty it attaches to. It should show up in the CLI.

fedora-kde :: ~ » dmesg -w
[ 9211.424841] usb 1-4: Detected FT232RL
[ 9211.425514] usb 1-4: FTDI USB Serial Device converter now attached to ttyUSB3

ttyUSB3 it is.

now connect the cable to your adapter and enter the “screen” command with the correct tty. ttyUSB3 in my case.

fedora-kde :: ~ » sudo screen /dev/ttyUSB3 115200

You should now see a login prompt. What you are seeing here is actually from the “ArubaOS-CX Simulator” since I already started the configuration and forgot to take a screenshot.

Enter the username “admin”. Leave the password empty and confirm. It will ask you to create a new password. You can hit “Enter” twice to leave the password blank. I will change this later.

switch login: admin

Please configure the 'admin' user account password.
Enter new password: 
Confirm new password: 

Basic configuration

Now we are in the “manager” context. Here you can, among other things, use a few network diagnostic tools and show system configurations. For instance “show system” will show you information like hostname, firmware and base mac address.

switch# show system
Hostname           : switch                        
System Description : Virtual.10.08.0001            
System Contact     :                               
System Location    :                               

Vendor             : Aruba                         
Product Name       : ABC123 ArubaOS-CX_OVA                
Chassis Serial Nbr : OVAFDE94B                     
Base MAC Address   : 080009-fde94b                 
ArubaOS-CX Version : Virtual.10.08.0001            

Time Zone          : UTC                           

Up Time            : 9 minutes                                                   
CPU Util (%)       : 20                            
Memory Usage (%)   : 34     

Let us switch to the “configuration” context.

switch# configure terminal switch# conf 

Now let’s do some of the basic configurations. I will start with the hostname.

switch(config)# hostname core01

Next, the Vlans, corresponding names, required IP address and the route to the default gateway. This is just an example and does not represent the customers configuration.

core01(config)# vlan 10,20,30,40,50,60,70
core01(config-vlan-<10,20,30,40,50,70>)# exit

core01(config)# vlan 10

core01(config-vlan-10)# name SERVER
core01(config-vlan-10)# vlan 20
core01(config-vlan-20)# name CLIENT
core01(config-vlan-20)# vlan 30 
core01(config-vlan-30)# name MGMT
core01(config-vlan-30)# vlan 40
core01(config-vlan-40)# name VOIP

core01(config-vlan-70)# interface vlan 30

core01(config-if-vlan)# ip address

core01(config-if-vlan)# show ip interface vlan30

Interface vlan30 is up 
 Admin state is up
 State information: 
 Hardware: Ethernet, MAC Address: 08:00:09:fd:e9:4b 
 IP MTU 1500 
 IPv4 address

core01(config-if-vlan)# exit

core01(config)# ip route 

Since we will use VLAN 30 as the management VLAN and not the designated MGMT port at the front of the device, we will have to configure ssh and the https-server to listen on the default VRF.

We could probably also assign “VLAN 30” to its own VRF to make it more secure. But this is fine for now.

core01(config)# ssh server vrf default

core01(config)# https-server vrf default 

Now we are done, with what I would consider a basic setup.

Spanning-Tree Configuration

Next, we will configure STP. Yes, this is the core switch, but it probably won’t actually route anything. The routing will be done by the two Sophos XG 330. Don’t ask me why we have these then. Let’s call it “future proofing”.

This will be a very simple configuration. I am going to use the default protocol on these devices (MSTP) and just set the “config-name”, “config-revision” and “priority”. Setting the “config-name” and “config-revision” isn’t exactly required, since it should fallback to RSTP but it’s easy to configure and gives us flexibility in the future.

core01(config)# spanning-tree

core01(config)# spanning-tree config-name STP
core01(config)# spanning-tree config-revision 1
core01(config)# spanning-tree priority 2

core01(config)# show spanning-tree mst-config

MST configuration information
   MST config ID        : STP            
   MST config revision  : 1              
   MST config digest    : AC36177F50283CD4B83821D8AB26DE62
   Number of instances  : 0              

Instance ID     Member VLANs      
--------------- ----------------------------------
0               1-4094

core01(config)# show spanning-tree summary root

STP status                   : Enabled
Protocol                     : MSTP
System ID                    : 08:00:09:fd:e9:4b

Root bridge for STP Instance : 0

                                                Root Hello Max Fwd              
Instance ID     Priority Root ID                cost  Time Age Dly    Root Port
--------------- -------- ----------------- --------- ----- --- --- ------------
0                   8192 08:00:09:fd:e9:4b         0     2  20  15            0

Set user password

Let me show you how to set the user password, as we left it blank earlier. I will not set mine since the customer will set the password himself, once the device is in production.

core01(config)# user admin password plaintext <SECRET PASSWORD>

Great. I guess I will end it here for this part. In the next one, we will build the VSX Cluster and configure LAG/LACP on the 100GbE ports for the ISL and uplink to the aggregation switches.

Until next time.

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